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PLDT-DIGITEL MERGER

Globe seeks DOJ’s intervention

/ 08:32 AM June 20, 2011

Manila — The Ayala-led Globe Telecom fired another shot at rival Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), as it asked Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to step in and ensure lasting competition in the country’s maturing telecom industry.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is scheduled to resume on Monday, the hearing over Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.’s acquisition of Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc.

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But in a statement, Globe called on De Lima, the country’s newly appointed competition czar, to intervene in the issue on PLDT’s takeover of Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc., operator of mobile brand Sun Cellular.

“The justice department will look into the impact of the deal on competition in the telecommunications industry in light of the recent directive from Malacañang against monopolies,” the company said in a statement.

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President Benigno Aquino III last week issued Executive Order No. 45, designating the justice secretary as the country’s “competition authority” mandated to “investigate all cases involving violations of competition laws and prosecute violators to prevent, restrain and punish monopolization, cartels and combinations in restraint of trade.”

The EO aims to protect consumers from abusive and fraudulent business practices, promote transparency and level the playing field in the market.

Globe legal counsel Rodolfo Salalima said the justice department should “act swiftly to prevent the PLDT-Digitel deal from resulting in a telecom market player so big as to have the power and means to effectively stifle competition.”

Salalima said Globe had always warned against the possible return of monopoly as the PLDT-Digitel deal would result in one company cornering the bulk of a very limited spectrum of frequencies.

“With so much clout, significant market power and influence now consolidated and vested in the PLDT group, free competition is threatened and ultimately the public good is gravely placed at risk,” Salalima said. /INQUIRER

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TAGS: Globe Telecoms, Merging - Acquisitions - Takeovers, National Telecommunications Commission, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., Sun Cellular, Telecommunications
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